Winning ground, losing ground, and why political reporting is always the same.

Terrific Op-edImage in the LA Times by Neal Gabler today about the herd mentality of political reporting told by predicting that Romney will rise again in the media because that’s what the media needs. Basically, Gabler says,the media only have four stories to tell. The candidate is losing or winning, losing ground or gaining ground. And since suspense (and with it reader interest) requires constant change, the media constantly modulates the story, regardless of the real state of play. 

This phenomenon is applicable to non-political media work, too. Often, when a client has been stung with a scandal of one type or another, the best strategy is to simply acknowledge the scandal, the damage done, and shift the narrative to everything your client is now doing to recover. Doing this can create an artificially bottom to the narrative cycle. By “admitting” the damage done, you reset the “losing ground, regaining ground” cycle so that the media almost certainly will start looking for stories that reinforce the narrative of a sullied by still alive Phoenix rising from the ashes 


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